The Faversham Eye is independent of any political party or cause. We have one bias and it is a bias we are proud of and which we will never deny. We want the best for the people of Faversham. Nothing more, nothing less.
Before the last council elections, we were critical of the local Tories. This had nothing to do with party politics. It was driven by one simple fact: For more than a decade, the Tories had turned Faversham into a rotten borough, where a small clique seized control of the town through the council, local organisations and charities, the freemasons and their party’s majority on borough and county councils.
Had it been the Labour party, the Lib Dems, UKIP or a rainbow coalition who had behaved in a similar manner our reporting would have been exactly the same.
As a town we are still living with the fallout from a decade of shabby deals, poor governance and incompetent management of the public purse. Financially, Faversham will be hobbled for the next fifty years by the disastrous decision to buy 12 Market Place. This white elephant costs the ratepayers more than £1000 a week, money which could be far better spent on numerous small community projects, all of which are desperate for funds. Sadly, there is no exit. Selling up would leave the town £1 million in debt with no building.
The war memorial, once a charming community project run by volunteers, became an ugly vanity project. It now looks like something designed by Albert Speer, Hitler’s architect, and sends entirely the wrong message as to why this country fought the last war.
The avalanche of new housing was a con trick, a catastrophic by-product of cosy relationships between former councillors and developers. Thanks to the lack of any coherent planning, the population of the town will double without significant increases in the number of desperately-needed doctors, school places and all other services.
These are all stories we have reported on in detail and the feedback from the people of Faversham has been positive.
Currently, the biggest crisis facing the town is Cleve Hill, a monstrous experiment with a battery technology, which has been tested - and failed. If it is built at the size the company currently envisages then it will fail - big time. The only thing protecting this area of Kent is which way the wind is blowing on that day.
The local Post Office is being privatized and given to a company with a dire record. Since we reported on this in the last issue, this outfit has closed the post office in Sheerness and is already stripping Sittingbourne.
Meanwhile, our MP has remained silent on the battery issue at Cleve Hill and has done nothing to save our Post Office.
Most of Britain’s national papers are owned by right wing billionaires, who fly the flag but pay their tax elsewhere. Rupert Murdoch owns the Sunday Times, The Times and The Sun. He lives in America and his complex offshore arrangements mean he has always paid marginal rates of tax. The Telegraph Group is owned by the Barclay brothers, through a series of offshore Channel Island trusts. The Daily Mail is controlled by the Rothermere family, whose family trusts are based in Jersey.
The Faversham News and Kent Online are both owned by Lord Lliffe, a third generation Tory press baron. With an election coming up, there will be a continual uptick in the number of positive stories about our Tory loyalist MP.
We live in a world where journalists have become cheerleaders for the powerful and all sing the same song. We are not part of that chorus. Instead we will always try to represent the interests of the people of Faversham. We will remain fiercely independent, reporting on the issues that matter with the support of you, our readers.